“Why Is America a Snake-Bitten Nation?” by Todd Strandberg

We seem to live in a time when everything that can go wrong has done so. Our run of bad luck reminds me of the play Pippin, in which King Charles proclaims, “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”

Bad luck can only occur for so long before the odds require it to change. If misfortune persists, there has to be some controlling factor that guides the events. We have been stricken with such frequency that it is long overdue for our nation to reflect on the nature of our problems. Consider the following examples:

1. We currently have the worst oil spill in our nation’s history. According to government estimates of daily flow figures, anywhere from 73.5 million to 126 million gallons gushed from the breached wellhead—whether that crude spilled into the water or was captured. In case you were wondering, like me, whether the oil might run out, there are still 2.1 billion gallons in the reservoir. The vast majority of the released oil is still in the Gulf. Even if the flow were stopped today, the consequences of the spill would continue to mount for years to come.

2. There has been a spate of negative weather events. Tennessee was hit with a massive amount of rainfall, shattering numerous all-time records. There was also a deluge in western Oklahoma, with Oklahoma City being the hardest hit. Last week, folks in Minnesota saw the most number of tornadoes they had ever seen in a single day: On June 17, there were 31 twisters, topping the old record of 27 set on June 16, 1992. And in Arkansas, just down the road from Terry and me, a flash flood killed more than 20 campers at a state park.

3. It is well known that our federal government is facing a host of debt problems. The financial trouble goes right to the bedrock of our nation. San Diego and Detroit are on opposite scales from each other. The first has an economy-based defense, tech manufacturing, and tourism, while the Second City is a rust-bowl city with heavy ties to the automobile industry. Both cities are on the verge of bankruptcy. San Diego is being weighed down by an under-funded retirement and health system. Detroit is literally rotting away. There are now 10,000 abandoned homes in Detroit that the city managers want to tear down and turn into empty lots.

4. Our foreign policy has become a slow-motion train wreck. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in our nation’s history. European heads of state are starting to doubt America’s ability to be a global leader. Opposition to key aspects of U.S. foreign policy remains pervasive in the Muslim world. While America’s favorability rating in Egypt has dropped from 27 percent to 17 percent, nut jobs like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are able to travel the globe and make new friends simply because they are enemies of the U.S.

Commentators are now starting to say that Barack Obama’s presidency is looking much like the disastrous term experienced by Jimmy Carter. There is one big difference: Obama was a Jimmy Carter even before he took office. American voters knew his record before he took office.

Many prophecy students would cite our treatment of Israel as the key reason we are lately such a snake-bitten nation. They base this assessment on Genesis 12:1-3: “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” I generally agree, but I don’t think it is as automatic as some claim. In other words, I don’t believe that if our government does something on Monday, a calamity will necessarily strike us on Tuesday.

It’s hard to deal with a problem when you don’t know it exists. To the carnal mind, these four examples seem to have no connection to each other. Until enough people realize that there is a God with the power to grant and withdraw favors, the source of our “bad luck” will remain a mystery.

The current mindset in our nation is “wait until election day when we can throw the bums out and change our political course.” We just got done playing musical chairs by switching from Republicans to Democrats. Until our nation gets back to choosing Jesus as our spiritual leader, the snakes of misfortune will continue to bite.

— Todd

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